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Pour-Overs At Home: The Chemex

Updated: Apr 27, 2022

Have you ever wondered what was the best way to brew a cup of coffee at home? Chemex, Aeropress, Kalita Wave...the options can sometimes feel endless. While there may not be an objective “best," there are certainly many methods to explore. In this next series, we will examine some of these methods and expand on their characteristics.

To start, the Chemex is a long-proven method of extraction offering complex tasting notes and smooth flavor. According to the Chemex website, it was designed in 1941 by the chemist Dr. Peter Schlumbohm and won several awards; it was even featured in the Museum of Modern Art. His focus on aesthetics and form made it a common household item. However, the science behind it is what has made it a lasting brewing method.

Intended to be made of "labware" grade glass, the Chemex's goal is to leave as little impact on flavor as possible. When used in conjunction with a paper filter, hot water is able to extract the desirable notes. Given its hourglass shape, the aeration of the grounds can circulate and breathe in a way that typical coffee makers--and even an Aeropress--can’t. The combination of shape, water temperature, and the amount of grounds all conspire to bring the lighter tasting notes forward. The finished cup of coffee has a consistency akin to that of tea, a smooth flavor, and light body.

Stop by any of our locations to try a hand-brewed Chemex pour over. Then, if you’re interested in purchasing a one for your home, each Lamppost Coffee location has a limited stock of Chemex and filters!

If you are looking to brew a Chemex pour over at home with your favorite coffee, we'll provide a short brew guide!

  1. Heat water to a boil.

  2. Wet your Chemex filter with warm water and let drain, pour out any water in Chemex brewer

  3. Grind 40 grams of your beans on a coarse grind (if you buy ground, you'll want to buy a coarser ground coffee).

  4. Add beans to filter and flatten so there are no divots or mounds.

  5. Take your water off boil and start pouring water into the grounds.

0:00-0:30 | 100 gram bloom, swirl or stir coffee so there are no clumps

0:30- 1:00 | 100 grams added and swirl 3 times

1:00-2:00 | pour to 400 grams in small circles in center of grounds

2:00-3:00 | pour to 550 grams with full circles

3:00-5:00 | pour to 650 grams and swirl gently

6. Coffee should drain at about 5 minutes, take out filter with grounds, and enjoy!

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